I turned my head left, then swung right, only to be caught up in the whirlwind of neon lights that swirled the hazy night sky in Bangkok. As a high schooler, I had come here with my classmates from the US, two of whom were born in Thailand. I remember how everyone there greeted each other with a bow of the head behind clasped hands, saying sawadee krab (or ka depending on the gender of the speaker). During that month, we went to the pristine beach, to fantastic shows, to caverns of delicious food stalls inundated with the aromatic scent of Thai curry and lemongrass. We drove through oily green fields intersected with gullies and clandestine villages under sun-pierced canopies of palm leaves.